The substantial slowing of overall gaming revenues in Nevada for April compared to March will probably raise the question of whether issues affecting the broader economy will impact gaming spend by the public.
To put the Nevada April gaming revenues in perspective, it is fair to note that the state, and largely Las Vegas, has been on a hot roll coming out of the pandemic. The state posted its 14th straight month of gaming revenues over $1 billion.
The April total gaming win in Nevada was nearly $1.128 billion, an increase of 27% from April 2021.
However, April 2022 lagged from the previous month’s total by 16.8%. Granted, March ($1.355 billion) was a near record revenue performance for Nevada. But April seemed to be poised to go to nearly $1.5 billion because of popular music concerts and the NFL Draft in town – and an advantageous calendar. April had five Fridays and five Saturdays while March had just four Fridays and Saturdays.
It is possible that higher gasoline prices affected visitation from Southern California, which is mostly by car. In California, the average price of gasoline has hit $6 a gallon. Plus inflation, which has touched about 8% lately, could alter the public’s discretionary spending habits.
Despite the month-to-month decline in gaming revenues, April 2022 was an 8.57% increase from April 2021 statewide. On The Strip, the same month year-over-year comparison was a 22.78% increase.
This month, MGM’s billion-dollar-plus deal to acquire the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas was completed.
As for sports betting, the April sports wagering handle of about $582.5 million was down 32.5% from March ($863.3 million), according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. But decreases in sports wagering are typical for the spring and summer and have been the norm for almost every jurisdiction with sports gambling.
Plus, the comparison to March when there are dozens of popular NCAA Basketball Tournament games – when April rolls around, only the Final Four remains – is a harsh one.
However, the April sports handle for Nevada was an increase of 27.1% from April 2021 ($458.2 million). The state record for sports betting handle is $1.1 billion, set in October 2021.
Sports wagering revenue was also down compared to March. The April revenue was about $25.37 million, a decrease of 31.3% from March (about $36.93 million). It was also down 6.9% from April 2021 ($27.24 million).
Mobile sports betting handle last month was $424.2 million, or 72.8% of the total handle. That was down 26.4% from March ($576.65 million) and up 43% from April 2021 ($296.6 million).
In Nevada, a larger percentage of sports betting takes place in retail sportsbooks than in other jurisdictions, where internet sports gambling makes up 85% to more than 90% of the total handle. There are no real money online casinos in Nevada.